Sweating as a Preventive Care and Treatment Strategy in Traditional Persian Medicine
AbstractProper and regular sweating plays a significant thermoregulatory role. It is a common perception that, sweating has other important homeostatic functions such as clearance of excessive micronutrients, waste products of metabolic processes, and toxins from the body, which helps to maintain human good health. In addition, sweating, thermotherapy, and sauna are commonly used to treat various diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory and joint diseases. In traditional Persian medicine (PM) textbooks, sweating is considered a preventive care and treatment strategy as well. In this study, we aim to explain the beneficial effects of sweating in human health and its role in the management of various diseases, as well as introducing the therapeutic applications of some diaphoretic plants from the viewpoint of PM. We reviewed the most famous PM textbooks such as Kamil al-Sinaa al-Tibbiya, Al-Qānūn fī al-Tibb, Zakhireye Kharazmshahi, Kholasat al-Hikmat, Exir-e-Azam, and Hifzos-sihhat-e Naseri. Also, current evidence was searched in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and other relevant databases related to the topic. The results of this study revealed that PM scientists believed proper sweating removes waste products and maintains the body’s health, thus, any disturbances in the excretion of these waste products can cause diseases. They recommended the induction of sweating through hot and dry baths, sun bath, sand bath and also the use of diaphoretic herbs for the management of various diseases. Therefore, further researches are recommended to evaluate the effectiveness of these diaphoretic plants. [GMJ.2020;9:e2003]
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